Two new labs created for coronavirus tests as Greek government announces more measures



Greece’s Ministry for Health announced on Wednesday the operation of two new laboratories for coronavirus tests, which will start operating from Thursday 12th March at Attikon hospital in the Athens region and the University Hospital of Larissa, in central Greece.

Greece now has a total of seven laboratories dedicated to COVID-19 testing and diagnosis. The other laboratories are the Pasteur Institute, the Athens University Medical School, the Thessaloniki University Medical School, the University General Hospital of Iraklio, and the University of Patras Hospital at Rio.

No food and goods shortages

Meanwhile Deputy Minister of Development and Investments, Nikos Papathanassis on Wednesday addressed concerns over the possibility of foods and goods shortages, saying that there is no such issue.

Papathanassis made the comments following a meeting with supermarket representatives adding that the possibility of extending store opening hours was also discussed, while the ministry will be informed twice daily about any problems with the availability of goods.

Also on Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) reported that there are no reports to date of current shortages or disruptions in the supply of medicines available in the EU due to the coronavirus epidemic, but is closely monitoring the potential impact of the virus' spread on the drug supply chain in the European Union.

Emergency operations only

The Ministry of Health on Wednesday announced that surgeries in public hospitals will now only carry out emergency operations and cases that cannot be postponed, while evening visits to hospital clinics are also suspended.

Parades cancelled

The annual nationwide student parades that commemorate the Greek War of Independence (March 25, 1821) and are held on the day have also been cancelled this year, as part of the government's measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Armed Forces measures

The National Defence Ministry cancelled the military parade for March 25 (Greek Independence Day) on Wednesday and instituted special leave for parents, as part of measures to protect the armed forces from the coronavirus epidemic. Measures include allowing parents to take leave of absence for as long as schools are out; suspending permission to travel abroad; and banning guests from attending ceremonies of new officers taking their oaths. The decision came after a meeting involving all top-level officers of the armed forces and Deputy National Defence Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis, among others.